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County to re-advertise utilities manager job

Published:   |   Updated: October 26, 2013 at 07:04 PM

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BROOKSVILLE - Hernando County will re-advertise a job opening for utilities operations manager and distribute the notice to more outside sources.

Director of Environmental Services Susan Goebel-Canning said the purpose is to "cast a wider net and look for someone who is a good fit for that position."

The position, with a salary range of $65,748 to $105,995, will be advertised for 60 days in national utilities-related trade magazines, journals and websites. The previous advertisement, which had already undergone one revision, was posted only on the Hernando County website, at Career Central and at area colleges.

Only two people applied to the previous advertisement and both have been rejected. Goebel-Canning said Richard Drumheller, a storekeeper for the utilities department, was not qualified.

The second applicant, William "Josh" Martin, a water district foreman, was denied under the county's policy that prohibits supervisors from being in a position of supervising a family member.

In Martin's case, he would be supervising his brother-in-law who works in the wastewater field, Goebel-Canning said.

Goebel-Canning said the decision to expand the advertising scope was made after consulting with Assistant County Administrator for Operations Brian Malmberg and Administrative Services Director Cheryl Marsden.

The position's educational requirements were also modified so that the applicant can either have a college degree or 10 years water/wastewater experience along with a class A wastewater license.

"(We) started to recognize there are positions where a degree is not always needed for the job," Goebel-Canning said.

The original advertisement stated that all applicants must possess a college degree because county commissioners had stressed last June they were tired of filling positions with under-qualified people.

It is expected that if whoever gets the job does not have a college education, he or she will pursue a degree within two years, she said.

County Commissioner Wayne Dukes, who had questioned how aggressively staff had conducted its original applicant search, said he is pleased with the re-advertisement.

If departments are looking to fill a lower-paying, middle management position, then it can sometimes make sense to look in-house and consider the talents of existing employees, especially if it is a blue-collar supervisory role, he said.

"The more technical you want it to be, you've got to do a broader search," he said.

The position opened up after Jesse Goodwin, the former assistant utilities director, retired. His job title was changed and his work description reworked.

Whoever gets the job will be in charge of planning, operations administration, management and training of Hernando County's water, wastewater and reclaimed water utility systems.

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